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The Skunk Cleaner Shrimp is one of the most helpful cleaner shrimps you can add to your home aquarium. Along with being tiny and peaceful little critters, this shrimp species will actually take the time to fully clean your tank and fish! It does this by setting up a “cleaning station” on a live rock […]
The Skunk Cleaner Shrimp is one of the most helpful cleaner shrimps you can add to your home aquarium. Along with being tiny and peaceful little critters, this shrimp species will actually take the time to fully clean your tank and fish! It does this by setting up a “cleaning station” on a live rock or coral and signaling any fish swimming nearby with their long antennae. Once a fish stops, they will begin to clean every inch of its body, even the inside of its mouth.
Why? Well, shrimp love eating an easy, tasty meal, and that’s exactly what a fish offers. When Skunk Cleaner Shrimp clean out your fish, they usually search for small parasites, dead tissue, and other small particles they can eat. This highly benefits your tank fish and other aquatic animals since it can prevent them from contracting illnesses.
Now, if you’re interested in keeping Skunk Cleaner Shrimp for your aquarium, be aware that caring for these critters requires lot of time and attention. Here’s what you should know about Skunk Cleaner Shrimp and how to give them proper care:
1.Size. Skunk Cleaner Shrimps are small, growing up to 2 inches (around 5 cm) in size. This makes it easy for them to probe your fish when they’re cleaning.
2. Lifespan. Typically long-lived critters, Skunk Cleaner Shrimps may live up to 3 years or longer.
3. Behavior. Skunk Cleaner Shrimps are peaceful in nature and will not harm your tank fish and aquatic plants. They are, however, mischievous and can be territorial with other shrimps. If you have an aquarium with a reef, you may need to keep a close eye on them as they may take food from your corals.
4. Food. Feeding Skunk Cleaner Shrimp is very easy as they will eat any food you put into the tank, including flake foods. You will need to make sure that they’re eating their fair share of food. Other than that, these shrimps will climb all over your fish and pick all the yummy tissue and parasites off of them.
5. Tank mates. Since they are peaceful and harmless, Skunk Cleaner Shrimp do well with other fish and can be kept in multiples. However, you should avoid keeping this shrimp species with aggressive fish that tend to feast on shrimps like Hawkfish and Pufferfish.
6. Aquarium size. Tank size is important when it comes to Skunk Cleaner Shrimp as they can be delicate. Normally, we recommend to keep this species in a tank that’s around 30 gallons (114 liters) minimum.
7. Temperature, dKH, pH balance, and specific gravity. As natural reef invertebrate, Skunk Cleaner Shrimps require the same needs as other reef critters. This includes being kept in a tank that’s between 75°F – 82°F (25°C – 28°C), a carbonate hardness (dKH) of 8-12°, a pH balance of 8.1 – 8.4 and a specific gravity of 1.023 – 1.025. If you’re a relatively lax aquarium owner who does not pay much attention to monitoring levels and tank conditions, you may want to reconsider keeping Skunk Cleaner Shrimp and related species.
8. Acclimation. Like fish, you must slowly acclimate your Skunk Cleaner Shrimp to their new aquarium home. Cleaner shrimps are very delicate, and can go into shock if introduced to the tank too quickly. We recommend using the drip acclimation method to execute this process. It should take at least an hour or longer to complete this acclimation method.
9. Exoskeleton Shedding. If you find a dead shrimp in your tank, don’t freak out! Look over your tank and try to find your shrimp. If you notice your shrimp is alive, then the “dead shrimp” is likely the exoskeleton they shed periodically. To help your shrimp build a new exoskeleton for their little bodies, you should add iodine supplements to your water every once in a while.
Skunk Cleaner Shrimp can be such a great little critter to include in your aquarium family. Just remember that all shrimp species and crustaceans need a little more attention than your regular fish. With enough time and care, you will have a thriving tank filled with clean and healthy fish!